The acclaimed series Cobra Kai references many moments from the Karate Kid film franchise. During Season 3, Episode 1, titled “Aftermath,” Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) visits the Cobra Kai studio in hopes of finding Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). However, he runs into ruthless Vietnam veteran John Kreese (Martin Kove), who has taken over the dojo.
Kreese proceeds to mock Daniel over the fact that his Miyagi-Do Karate student Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) severely injured Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña).
“It must really hurt to see the Miyagi name dragged through the mud. Wish I could see the look on the little b******* face,” says Kreese.
“That little b***** kicked your a**. More than once,” responds Daniel.
In that scene, the LaRusso Auto Group owner is referring to moments that occur in the second and third installments of the martial arts franchise.
Kreese Attempts To Fight Miyagi in ‘The Karate Kid Part II’
At the start of the 1986 film The Karate Kid Part II, Daniel and Mr. Miyagi watch Cobra Kai owner John Kreese (Martin Kove) berate his student Johnny Lawrence for coming in second place during the 1984 All-Valley Tournament. The scene can be watched below:
While they are standing in the parking lot, the teenager tells his enraged teacher that he “did [his] best” during the final round. Kreese responds by saying, “you’re nothing, you lost, you’re a loser.”
“No, you’re the loser, man,” says Johnny, which causes the Vietnam veteran to destroy his trophy.
Johnny tells Kreese he’s “really sick,” and the sensei proceeds to grab his jacket. He then begins choking him, much to the horror of the other Cobra Kai students.
Mr. Miyagi decides to intervene and demands Kreese to “let him go.”
Cobra Kai team member Bobby (Rob Garrison) agrees with Miyagi but Kreese slaps him while still holding on to Johnny.
Kreese tells the maintenance man to “beat it, but Miyagi shoves him, saving Johnny.
Kreese prepares to fight by raising his fists. He lunges at Miyagi and breaks a car window, blooding his hand. He turns around and pauses to inspect his injury and attempts to punch the Okinawa-born sensei again. However, he hits another car window, further injuring himself.
Miyagi then pushes Kreese to his knees as a horrified Daniel watches.
“Mercy is for the weak. You do not train to be merciful here. A man face you, he is enemy. An enemy deserve no mercy,” says Miyagi, lifting his hand, as if he was about to strike the Cobra Kai owner.
He, however, grabs Kreese’s nose and makes a honking noise before winking at Daniel.
The karate student then asks Miyagi if he could “have killed [Kreese].”
When the sensei acknowledges that he could have, Daniel asks “Why didn’t you then?”
“Because Daniel-san, for a person with no forgiveness in heart living even worse punishment than death,” responds Miyagi.
Miyagi Overpowers Three Men in ‘The Karate Kid Part III’
In the 1989 film The Karate Kid Part III, the martial arts master confronts Kreese, his friend Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), and Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan). That scene can be watched here:
Barnes beats up Daniel before the New Jersey native runs off. The teenager chases after him but is soon thrown back into the dojo by Miyagi. Daniel’s sensei then manages to overpower each of the men, despite his small stature.